CGC vs CBCS vs PGX

Not sure if it’s been alluded to in this thread or perhaps another, but in my general non-data musings, the selling prices of non-graded comics in an “assumed/presumed” grade are not selling that much less than their graded counterparts. And it seems to be getting worse.
I say this with, of course, the exception of 9.8’s (and even 9.6’s with older books).

Does anyone in their non-data observation feel the same?

It seems like the innate desire & approach for hobbyists to 1. take the chance on a raw, 2. Clean and press fee, and 3. Grade fee, is even more of a predominant methodology of buying/selling with the knowledge that the grade number might not be what they had hoped it to be.

Kinda weird if true or perhaps just a significant lack of trust on the grading companies - I dunno.

I sell both, and have been noticing my raws that I simply provide good pictures/descriptions for, sell for only slightly less than a graded book that I feel is a real close grade to the same raw book.

Stating this in pre-pandemic & pandemic timeframe would be heresy and pure stupidity; but it almost seems real now

I’ve been noticing the same and it’s been happening for a while. Again this is just from personal observations, talking to dealers and observing the behavior of CGC without deep combing through the sales data.

My guess is that it depends on what you’re selling. For high priced grails like golden age books I think the premium is still there for these books because it doesn’t come to market often and when it does a buyer with deep pockets would want a third party grader to check for restorations, authenticate it to make sure it’s not a counterfeit etc. For this CGC/CBCS still holds a lot of value.

Now if we’re talking about a book like an ASM 300, this is where CGC’s reputation taking a hit has hurt it real hard. I speak on this because I was in the market for a CGC/CBCS 9.8 copy of ASM 300. I wanted to get a nice high grade copy to replace the copy I sold away as a child. However since I’ve been caught up to speed on the scandal, there’s absolutely no way I would purchase an already graded CGC slab of ASM 300 as I know there is this off chance that tainted books are still out there in the market that’s been slabbed. There’s absolutely no chance that CGC has accounted for all of them, in fact GoCollect has already recorded sales of some of the tainted slabs and have marked them down on their sales data charts by cert number. There’s people out there that don’t follow the industry and have bought these books from the reholder scandal.

So for someone like me, buying a high grade raw from a seller that I trust is very appealing. And since what CGC thinks is the grade means less to me than toilet paper, I would rather much just buy it from the seller. Will probably pay close enough to a graded slab if it came to that. I wouldn’t have to second guess about the book had I bought it already slabbed wondering if the book inside the CGC case is what it says it is.

I’m sure I’m not the only person that feels this way so I can see lots of other buyers having the same mindset. It doesn’t help that CGC’s grading is so inconsistent.

1 Like

I think a lot of factors are at play.

CGC’s grading is so inconsistent you might as well view pictures of the raw book…easier to see flaws or judge the grade outside the plastic.

Inflation means less books being sent in for encapsulation…the improved turn around times mean means more people are willing to buy raw and potentially send in themselves.

The scandal may play a role as well on some level.

1 Like

It’s really 9.8 or bust at this point. 99% of books shouldn’t be graded if they aren’t going to hit 9.8+. CGC knows this. A lot of people think the rumored 9.9 prescreen is designed to get people to resubmit 9.8s. I don’t believe that. I think CGC is making it easier to get a 9.8. Less prescreen rejects = more money for them.

2 Likes

If you do a search for cgc 9.8 on ebay and click on auctions, you can see the amount of modern drek that people have gotten slabbed and are now selling at rock bottom prices. The stuff that shouldn’t be slabbed. The prices are so low that they’re just giving it away. I saved some of the sellers and when I looked at their other items I noticed that their entire store is made up of slabs and every one of them are up at auctions.

I used to think people who did this several years ago were just novice sellers and didn’t realize you shouldn’t be putting up these at auctions. Now that it’s still happening many years later, I believe it was these novice speculators that got into the hobby during the boom, slabbed everything and are now trying to sell off their entire inventory to recoup their losses and are trying to get out of the hobby altogether.

4 Likes

I have seen some folks who got into comics in 2020 now quitting them altogether in 2024 and taking a loss as they unload stuff.

1 Like

Excellent assessment and :100: for moderns

Another facet to this is the surge of folks who are now learning/doing their own pressing.
From my experiences in this hobby. pressing used to be a pretty “specialized” type thing. There just weren’t many folks doing it, and it was pretty scary/not even really something that many collectors were involved with. It was sort of a big deal to have a book pressed and not really one that was taken lightly.

These days, seems like everyone is doing it or claiming to be an expert. I’m not saying there aren’t folks who are amazing it, but I feel like it remains a skill that has varying degrees of expertise and really wonder just how good some people are that claim to be “pressers”.

I believe I may have mentioned this, but at the last con I was at where I was helping a vendor…I would say the sales of raw vs graded were a 90% raw versus 10% graded. Of that 90% the vast majority of books were being examined by folks who would spend foreeeevvver looking at them and making statements about “i think I could press that out, blah, blah, blah, spine ticks, non presssable defects” and then they would start haggling with us about potential grades, this should be priced at a 9.2 vs a 9.4 because it would grade that way at CGC, etc, etc. Got to be irritating…buy the book, don’t buy the book, but I’m not wasting my time discussing your pressing abilities or what you believe it would or wouldn’t get if you sent it to CGC. As the book sits here in your hands…it’s a Near Mint—yes or no? Do you want it or not…yes or no?

3 Likes

Exactly this!
I, perhaps, wasnt clear in my initial post.
But it is as if the thrill of making a book better is overriding the financial aspect.

Its like tunnel vision (as if collectors dont already have that)

1 Like

Let’s not forget the same folks who want to sit and look at the already graded books as well and go over them with a fine tooth comb trying to analyze how they could crack and press it and resubmit for a better grade and wasting my time explaining how great they are at pressing and how they could easily fix this or that flaw, blah, blah, blah and make so much more money off my book after they buy it and resubmit it. :roll_eyes:

3 Likes

Those people sound annoying as heck.

2 Likes

It’s one thing if you enjoyed comics in your youth and you’re rediscovering the love of them…but If you’re and adult getting into comics now for the first time in your life…you likely doing it for the wrong reasons.

You need to love them for what they are first and foremost…the profit side of it should always be secondary or a bonus.

2 Likes

I have so few books that I wound actually want pressed, it’s really not worth my time to invest. Especially when turn around times are basically a few weeks now.

That being said, I sent in two orders (same shipment) to cgc…both had 20 day grading and 15 press day turn around. So 7 weeks (35 days).

Got one order back a few weeks ago. The other has been “stuck” in CCS for over a month. I guess I need to make a phone call…

2 Likes

I have this CGC 9.8 with the restored label, if i used CGC JSA service would they have to crack the case and regrade to check the autograph authenticity?

yes, they regrade all reholders now

Stupid scandal ruined it all.

2 Likes

I wouldn’t say they “regrade” it. Otherwise you’d expect grades to go up too. I highly doubt anyone is getting a reholder back in a higher grade.

They will “examine” the book and decide whether it still matches whatever their current criteria is for the number.

But I wouldn’t worry about that. I just got a Batman 423 back from cgc that’s clearly an 8.5, and they put a 9.4 label on it…so I think they’re lowering their standards to be able to “award” more 9.9s and not have to lower grades on reholders…

1 Like

Ye ol’ “examine”.
That’s the key word for “we’re not re-grading it exactly as we do with a grading order, but we’re going to keep it oblique and vague so that you have no clue what we’re going to do”.

Love their transparency

2 Likes